Hadiya Case Listed for Jan 23 — CJI’s Bench Likely to Deliver Final Verdict

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Hadiya with her husband Shafin Jahan. — File photo

In the last hearing on November 27 last year, the bench had passed an interim order freeing 25-year-old medical student Hadiya from the custody of her Hindu parents and allowing her to resume her studies in Tamil Nadu.

Caravan News

NEW DELHI — Kerala’s famous Hadiya case is scheduled to be heard in the Supreme Court on Tuesday (January 23). The case involving Hadiya or Akhila’s conversion to Islam and her marriage with a Muslim man Shafin Jahan will be heard by a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra. Other two judges of the bench are Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud.

In the last hearing on November 27 last year, the bench had passed an interim order freeing 25-year-old medical student Hadiya from the custody of her Hindu parents and allowing her to resume her studies in Tamil Nadu.

During study at a homeopathic college in Tamil Nadu’s Salem district some years ago, she had converted to Islam and in 2016 married with a Kerala Muslim man Shafin Jahan.

Her parents did not accept her conversion and marriage and moved the Kerala High Court alleging that she was converted and married with ulterior motive and she was to be recruited for terrorist group ISIS. Hadiya appeared before the High Court and rubbished all the charges of her parents.

However, in May 2017, the motive behind the conversion and subsequent marriage was questioned by the High Court. The court annulled her marriage with Jahan and sent her to the custody of her parents with round-the-clock police protection. In July, Jahan challenged the High Court verdict in the Supreme Court. In August, even before hearing Hadiya, the SC ordered National Investigation Agency (NIA) to probe her conversion and marriage. However, in October, a new bench of the apex court asked Hadiya’s parents to produce her before it.

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She appeared before the apex court on November 27 and sought freedom from the custody of her parents. During conversation, Chief Justice Dipak Misra asked her: “Do you want to continue your studies on state’s expense?” She replied: “I want to but not on state’s expense when my husband can take care of me.”

In the interim order, the apex court released her from her parents’ custody and sent her to Salem so that she could resume her studies, but did not touch two other aspects of the case – her conversion and marriage. Instead, the apex court allowed NIA to continue its investigation into Hadiya’s conversion and marriage and set the next hearing for the third week of January 2018. Following the court order, Hadiya was flown to Tamil Nadu and she joined the college on November 29.

In the hearing on coming Tuesday, it is most like that the Supreme Court will take up her conversion and marriage and pass a final verdict. This case tops the list of scheduled cases to be heard by the Chief Justice’s bench on January 23.

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